“At three o’clock,
The ninth hour,
Jesus cried out
With a loud voice.
This translated means.
‘Oh my God!
Oh my God!
Why have you
καὶ τῇ ἐνάτῃ ὥρᾳ ἐβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ Ἐλωῒ λαμὰ σαβαχθανεί; ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Ὁ Θεός μου ὁ Θεός μου, εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπές με;
This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:46. Luke, chapter 23, and John, chapter 19, did not have these words of Jesus hanging on the cross. Mark said that at three o’clock in the afternoon, the ninth hour (καὶ τῇ ἐνάτῃ ὥρᾳ), Jesus cried with a loud voice saying (ἐβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ), “Eloi! Eloi! Lema sabachthani (Ἐλωῒ Ἐλωῒ λαμὰ σαβαχθανεί)?” This cry is slightly different than Matthew. Then Mark explained what this meant with a translation (ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον), since this was a mixture of the Hebrew and Aramaic word for God in the first verse from Psalm 22:1. “Oh my God! Oh my God (Ὁ Θεός μου ὁ Θεός μου)! Why have you forsaken, abandoned, or deserted me (εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπές με)?” This Psalm 22 was a psalm of David asking for help or deliverance from a serious illness or persecution, much like the suffering servant in Isaiah, chapters 52-53. Thus, Jesus, the suffering servant, the son of David, quoted the first verse of this psalm as he hung on the cross. Why was there no help coming from God?
“The Son of Man
As it is written
To that one
The Son of man
It would have been better
For that man
Not to have been born.”
ὅτι ὁ μὲν Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὑπάγει καθὼς γέγραπται περὶ αὐτοῦ· οὐαὶ δὲ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἐκείνῳ δι’ οὗ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται· καλὸν αὐτῷ εἰ οὐκ ἐγεννήθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος.
This is similar, exactly word for word, to Matthew, chapter 26:24, but more summarized in Luke, chapter 22:22. Mark, like Matthew, indicated that Jesus said that the Son of Man would go to death (ὅτι ὁ μὲν Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὑπάγει), as it was written about him (καθὼς γέγραπται περὶ αὐτοῦ). Was this a reference to the Suffering Servant in Isaiah, chapters 52-53, and Psalm 22? However, then Jesus cursed the man who would betray the Son of Man (οὐαὶ δὲ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἐκείνῳ δι’ οὗ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται). He said that it would have been better if that man had never been born (καλὸν αὐτῷ εἰ οὐκ ἐγεννήθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος). This was a very strong curse, but without an exact identification for whom it was meant.
“About three o’clock,
The ninth hour,
With a loud voice.
Why have you
περὶ δὲ τὴν ἐνάτην ὥραν ἀνεβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ λέγων Ἡλεὶ λεμὰ σαβαχθανεί; τοῦτ’ ἔστιν Θεέ μου θεέ μου, ἵνα τί με ἐγκατέλιπες;
This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:34. Luke, chapter 23, and John, chapter 19, do not have these words of Jesus hanging on the cross. Matthew said that about three o’clock in the afternoon, the ninth hour (περὶ δὲ τὴν ἐνάτην ὥραν), Jesus cried with a loud voice saying (ἀνεβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ λέγων) “Eli! Eli! Lema sabachthani (Ἡλεὶ Ἡλεὶ λεμὰ σαβαχθανεί)?” Then Matthew explained what this meant (τοῦτ’ ἔστιν). This was a mixture of Hebrew and Aramaic, the Hebrew for God and Aramaic for the first verse from Psalm 22:1. “My God! My God (Θεέ μου θεέ μου,)! Why have you forsaken, abandoned, or deserted me (ἵνα τί με ἐγκατέλιπες)?” This Psalm 22 was a psalm of David asking for help or deliverance from a serious illness or persecution, much like the suffering servant in Isaiah, chapters 52-53. Thus, Jesus, the suffering servant son of David, quoted the first verse of this psalm as he hung on the cross. Why was there no help coming from God?
“When they had crucified Jesus,
They divided his garments
By casting lots.
Then they sat down there.
They kept watch
σταυρώσαντες δὲ αὐτὸν διεμερίσαντο τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ βάλλοντες κλῆρον,
καὶ καθήμενοι ἐτήρουν αὐτὸν ἐκεῖ.
The first verse is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:24, but there is nothing about keeping watch. Luke, chapter 12:34, mentioned the dividing of Jesus’ garments by chance. John, chapter 19:23-25, has a longer detailed description about the division of the garments of Jesus. The first cinemascope movie in 1953 was called the “The Robe,” based on a 1942 novel with the same name that got its inspiration from this biblical passage. When the Roman soldiers had put Jesus on the cross for his crucifixion (σταυρώσαντες δὲ), they divided his garments among themselves (αὐτὸν διεμερίσαντο τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ), by casting lots for them (βάλλοντες κλῆρον), which was a common practice. A number of old manuscripts have an additional phrase about the fulfillment of a prophecy was in John’s account. Thus, what might have been spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled (ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑπὸ τοῦ προφήτου). They divided my garments among themselves (Διεμερίσαντο τὰ ἱμάτιά μου ἑαυτοῖς). For my clothing, they cast lots (καὶ ἐπὶ τὸν ἱματισμόν μου ἔβαλον κλῆρον). This was from Psalm 22:18, when David was in distress. Then these Roman guards sat down (καὶ καθήμενοι) to keep watch over, guard, or observe Jesus there (ἐτήρουν αὐτὸν ἐκεῖ).
“To him, indeed!
Shall all who sleep in the earth bow down.
Shall bow all who go down to the dust.
I shall live for him.
Posterity will serve him.
Future generations will be told about Yahweh.
They will proclaim his deliverance
To a people yet unborn.
They will say that he has done it.”
This psalm ends with everyone on earth who goes to sleep bowing down to Yahweh. Anyone who lives or dies will bow down to Yahweh. David or the psalmist will live for Yahweh. Also posterity and future generations will learn about Yahweh and serve him. They will proclaim his deliverance to each new generation, even to those not yet born. They will tell about all that he has done.
“From you comes my praise
In the great congregation.
My vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat.
They shall be satisfied.
Those who seek him,
They shall praise Yahweh!
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember.
They will turn to Yahweh.
All the families of the nations
Shall worship before him.
Dominion belongs to Yahweh.
He rules over the nations.”
Due to the good results, Yahweh is to be praised both in the great congregation and in his personal vows. The poor have been satisfied with food. All who seek Yahweh praise him. The whole world will soon remember and turn to Yahweh. All the nations of the world will worship him since he has dominion over all the nations.
“You have rescued me
From the horns of the wild oxen.
I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters.
In the midst of the congregation
I will praise you.
You who fear Yahweh!
All you offspring of Jacob!
Stand in awe of him!
All you offspring of Israel!
He did not despise me.
He did not abhor me.
He did not forget the affliction of the afflicted.
He did not hide his face from me.
But he heard,
When I cried to him.”
Apparently things turned out okay because Yahweh rescued David or the psalmist. He now wanted to give praise and thanksgiving. He was rescued from the horns of the wild oxen. Now he wanted to profess the name of Yahweh before his brothers, his sisters, and the whole congregation. He wanted to praise Yahweh, but he also wanted all the offspring of Jacob and Israel to do the same. It is interesting to note that both names are here and they mean the same thing. Yahweh did not despise or abhor him in his affliction. Yahweh never hid his face but in fact heard his call when he cried out to Yahweh.
Do not be far away!
O my help!
Come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword!
Deliver my life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion!”
David or the psalmist did not want Yahweh to be far away. He wanted him to help him by coming quickly to his aid. He wanted his soul and his life saved from the power of the sword and the dog. He wanted to be saved from the lion’s mouth.
“Dogs are round about me.
A company of evildoers encircle me.
My hands and feet have shriveled.
I can count all my bones.
They stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among themselves.
For my clothing they cast lots.”
The evil doers are like a pack of dogs looking for prey. The condition of David or the psalmist has deteriorated. His hands and feet have shriveled up. He is so thin that he can count all the bones in his body because they are showing. People were staring and gloating over him. They already were dividing up his clothes with lots as he came close to death. Once again, it is clear why the evangelist used this psalm to talk about the dying Jesus on the cross.
“I am poured out like water.
All my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax.
It is melted within my breast.
My mouth is dried up like a potsherd.
My tongue sticks to my jaws.
You lay me in the dust of death.”
This is a very colorful descriptive explanation of David’s or the psalmist’s situation. He was poured out like water, exhausted. His bones were out of joint in pain. His heart was like wax that melted away in his breast with no energy. His mouth was dried up as his tongue was stuck to his jaws. A potsherd is broken pieces of pottery. He was almost on his death bed of dust. It is apparent why the works of Matthew and Mark used this vivid graphic psalm to describe a dying Jesus on the cross.